According to 2019 stats from the U.S. Commerce Department, Missouri’s GDP grew by 2.3 percent last year. While economic growth here has been slower than the nation’s growth rate of 2.7 during this time, Missouri’s GDP of $323 billion in 2018, coupled with its low unemployment rate of just 3.2 percent as of August 2019, translate into positive professional opportunities for the state’s human resources professionals.
This means that whether you’re a recent high school grad or career changer interested in breaking into the profession or you’re a practicing HR professional with ambitions of climbing the career ladder, Missouri’s economic climate is ripe with opportunities for starting or advancing your career.
Salary statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and job growth projections from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center reveal some of the highlights for professionals in Missouri’s human resources field:
Human Resources Management
- Human Resources Managers – Human resources managers in Missouri earn a median salary of $106,570. The number of these professionals is projected to grow by 9.5 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is slightly higher than the national projected growth rate of 9 percent for this profession.
- Compensation and Benefits Managers – Compensation and benefits managers in Missouri earn a median salary of $119,560, which is in line with the national median salary of $119,120 for these professionals.
- Training and Development Managers – Missouri’s training and development managers earn a median salary of $104,860 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $168,430.
Human Resources Specialists and Assistants
- Human Resources Specialists – The number of HR specialists in Missouri is projected to grow 9 percent between 2016 and 2026, rising from 9,840 to 10,730.
- Labor Relations Specialists – Labor relations specialists in Missouri earn a median salary of $59,140.
- Training and Development Specialists – Missouri’s training and development specialists earn a median salary of $56,440. The top 10% earn an average salary of $96,750.
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists – Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists in Missouri earn a median salary of $58,900.
- Human Resources Assistants – HR assistants in Missouri earn a median salary of $40,740, which is line with the national median salary of $40,390 for these professionals.
Degree and Certification Programs for a Career in HR Management
The majority of human resources jobs, including managers, specialists, and assistants, require a college education in human resources, business administration, or a related field.
From employee relations managers and compensation managers to training and development managers and training specialists, a career in human resources usually begins with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources
Bachelor’s degrees in human resources, which may be structured as Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programs, are designed to prepare students for positions in HR leadership. Students learn how to establish and advance organizational policies and guidelines and to utilize the tools and techniques for developing transformational work environments.
Major components of a general bachelor’s program in HR or a bachelor’s program in human resource management include:
- Organizational Communications
- Intercultural Management
- Information Systems Management
- Human Resource Management
- Collective Bargaining
- Employment Law
Master’s Degrees in Human Resource Management
Master’s degrees in human resources are designed to prepare students to take on more strategic roles in an organization and ensure that their contributions support and advance the organization’s mission.
Master’s degrees in human resource management may be designed as Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA), and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. Most programs allow students to either complete a generalist HR program or focus their graduate education on a specific HR track, such as:
- Staffing, training, and development
- Employment and labor law
- Labor and collective bargaining
- Benefits and compensation
Human resources graduate programs may go by a number of titles, such as human resource management, organizational leadership, and management with a human resources specialization, just to name a few.
Admission into these programs often requires an undergraduate degree in business, finance, or human resources or the completion of specific undergraduate courses in these areas of study.
Major coursework requirements in a master’s degree in human resources often include:
- Conflict resolution
- Legal environment in human resources
- Human resource management and strategy
- Compensation and benefits
- Strategic planning and implementation
Professional Certification Options in Human Resources
Although professional certification in human resources is a voluntary pursuit, many professionals, particularly those in supervisory or management positions, choose to earn certification because it displays a commitment to the profession and a position as an industry leader. The most widely pursued designations in human resources include:
- SHRM-CP (certified professional)
- SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional)
HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
- Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR)
- Associate Professional in Human Resources – International (aPHRi)
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Professional in Human Resources – International (PHRi)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources – International (SPHRi)
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)
- Certified Professional (IPMA-CP)
- Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP)
Missouri’s Top Employers of Human Resources Professionals
A reliable way to track where human resources jobs are most plentiful is by following the largest employers in the state, as well as the industries experiencing the most growth.
Some of the largest industries in the state include data processing, healthcare, telecommunications, and transportation equipment manufacturing.
According to 2019 BLS numbers, the largest employers in Missouri include:
- TTM Technologies: 14,854 employees
- Express Scripts: 10,000 employees
- CoxHealth: 10,000 employees
- Washington University Medical Center: 10,000 employees
- Barnes-Jewish Hospital: 9,879 employees
- Mercy Hospital: 8,032 employees
- Ford Kansas City: 8,000 employees
What Missouri’s Top Employers are Looking for in an HR Management Professional
Jobs in human resources management are diverse, as is clear from recent job postings that detail both job requirements and descriptions (Shown for illustrative purposes only):
Human Resources Recruiter: Unigroup, Fenton
This position involves working closely with hiring managers and HR generalists to coordinate recruitment, consult with management to identify the most qualified applicants, and search for candidates by utilizing passive recruiting techniques.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field and at least two years of recruiting experience.
HR Manager: UnderCover, Springfield
This position involves providing advice and counsel to all employees, following procedures regarding employee benefits, listening to employee problems, and providing feedback to functional managers.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience managing a human resources department within a manufacturing environment.
Human Resources Business Partner: DST Systems, Inc., Kansas City
This position requires maintaining an active presence within the business unit, serving as a liaison between human resources and senior management; and researching and implementing programs and practices related to human resources, organizational development, job enrichment, and employee engagement at the business unit or division level.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of experience as a human resources generalist. Preferred candidates will possess an advanced degree in human resources, business management, or a related field and at least 10 years as a human resource generalist.
Manager Labor Relations: American Water, St. Louis
This position involves optimizing business performance by focusing on labor relations and ensuring compliance with state and federal laws, regulatory agencies, company policies, and collective bargaining agreements.
Qualified candidates will possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field; preferred candidates will possess a master’s degree.
Resources for Missouri’s HR Professionals
Human resources organizations at the state and local level often serve as valuable resources for both aspiring and practicing HR professionals:
- Missouri State Council of the Society for Human Resources Management
- Human Resources Association of Central Missouri
- Springfield Area Human Resources Association
- Missouri Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration
Examples of HR positions were taken from a survey of job listings in the state at the time of this writing and are shown for illustrative purposes only. These examples do not represent job offers or positions that are currently available.
Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2018 for human resources managers, specialists, and assistants – https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mo.htm#11-9111. The BLS salary data shown here represents median – 90th percentile salary ranges for the state and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries.
Job growth projections sourced from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
All salary and job growth data accessed in September 2019.